BEIRUT: The founder and chair of the Beirut Film Society Sam Lahoud, has been selected to nominate some of the best short films from the Middle East for the Hollywood Foreign Press Association/Asian Film Associations’s Snow Leopard Award.
He will be part of a group of six curators from abroad cinema groups picking films.
The selection for potential award candidates includes 53 Asian countries. Lahoud will be selecting candidates from: Armenia, Bahrain, Cyprus, Iraq, Iran, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Palestine, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, the United Arab Emirates, and Yemen.
The award distribution ceremony will take place at the Asian World Film Festival in Los Angeles in November as part of an agreement between the festival and the Golden Globes. A scholarship award will be given to the winning filmmaker.
“It’s a pleasure to be part of the curators committee for such an honorable mission that goes along my work and expertise in the field,” Lahoud told Annahar.
“This award is a golden opportunity for young filmmakers from the Middle East and Gulf countries that I represent, thanks to the HFPA and to the directors of the Asian World Film Festival,” he added.
Lahoud’s role is mainly to select short films from these countries to comprise ultimately a listing of two films for final qualifications.
A prolific cineaste and creator, Sam Lahoud is a director, producer, writer and lecturer at Notre Dame University-Louaize, and is the founder of the Beirut Film Society and NDU International Short Film Festival.
He also founded the Beirut International Women Film Festival, Beirut International Children and Family Film Festival, and the Lebanese Film Festival in Canada. He is also planning to launch the Armenian Film Festival in Beirut soon.
Lahoud additionally programs short films for the Rabat International Author Film Festival and he supervises the restoration program of the Lebanese cinema archive, done by Notre Dame University and the Lebanese Ministry of Culture. He plays a role in the project "Girls for Change" organized with the support of UNICEF.
Representing the Lebanese cinema internationally is not new to Lahoud, in addition to his current participation as a juror and his contribution in programming Lebanese films in a number of regional and international film festivals, he was featured for two consecutive years (2018 and 2019) on the list of the 100 most influential cinematic figures in the Arab world in the Arab Cinema Center magazine.
Twenty-five filmmakers from all over the world attended the 2018 Snow Leopard Festival including Sam Kadi (Syria), Phillippe Aractingi (Lebanon), Pierre Saraff, (Lebanon), Sanjeewa Pushpakumara (Sri Lanka), Deepak Rauniyar (Nepal), Bayram Najafov (Azerbaijan), Aktan Arym Kubat, Murat Aliyev (Kyrgystan) Najia Khaan (Afganistan), Ha Phoung (Vietnam), Jarantai Altantsetseg, Ganjuur Tsogtgerel, Tsengel Davaasambuu (Mongolia), Xiao Dong Xie (China), Rekesh Salim Ismail (Iraq), Farhan Alam (Pakistan), Kurmashev Ernar (Kazakhstan), Gaukhar Gia Noortas (Kazakhstan) and Karinne Behr (France).
This year’s candidates have yet to be announced, but past choices leave no doubt they will be exciting choices artistically, cinematically, and in terms of story narrative.
Come November, the screens will be dimmed at the Culver City theater and each filmmaker’s vision will be unveiled for the judges and audience to see, and there is never any telling when one or more young artists will find themselves perhaps on the cusp of fame.
An-Nahar is not responsible for the comments that users post below. We kindly ask you to keep this space a clean and respectful forum for discussion.